A controversial national security expert says he is not a formal adviser to President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: 73 percent want independent Russia probe Trump’s first 100 days anything but presidential Going green — why environmental protection is both a business and legislative concern MORE.
“An unattributed quote appeared in the press yesterday indicating that I had been appointed to the Trump transition team,” Frank Gaffney told Politico in a statement Wednesday.
"I look forward to helping the president-elect and national security-minded team he is assembling in whatever way I can.”
Reports emerged Tuesday Gaffney was providing his national security expertise to Trump’s team.
The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal each reported Gaffney’s role, though neither asserted he was formally appointed.
Gaffney, who served in the Pentagon under former President Ronald Reagan, has since become infamous for his remarks concerning Islam.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, describes him as “one of America’s most notorious Islamophobes.”
Gaffney has purportedly advanced the theory, for example, that President Obama is Muslim and foreign-born. The former Reagan administration official has also accused the Muslim Brotherhood of infiltrating the government.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller disputed reports Gaffney is officially involved with the transition team during an interview with MSNBC.
“No,” said Miller, the Trump transition team’s communications director, when asked if Gaffney was advising it “in any way.”
“I know he’s a nice guy but he’s not part of the transition team,” he added before refusing comment on whether Gaffney and Trump had met recently.
America’s largest Muslim advocacy organization, meanwhile, urged Trump to cut ties with Gaffney earlier Wednesday.
“Discredited conspiracy theorists like Frank Gaffney should not come within 100 miles of any administration that seeks to maintain credibility on the world stage or uphold longstanding American values of religious diversity and inclusion,” Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement.